Understanding Male Pattern Baldness

In my previous blog I had mentioned some reasons why hair falls, now let’s put some focus in understanding male pattern baldness.

 Understanding male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia occurs due to susceptibility of the hair follicles underneath the scalp to androgens. Understanding male pattern baldness will be much easy when we are able to understand androgens. Androgens are nothing but steroid hormones which control the development and maintenance of male characteristics, this also includes the development of male sex organs and the development of secondary sex characteristics in men (like facial hair).

One of the most important androgen is testosterone which is secreted in the testicles, also the most   important hormone without which a man will not be a man. You know what I mean, right?  But when it comes to understanding male pattern baldness, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the androgen to be looked out for, as it acts as a slow poison on the hair follicles beneath the scalp.

Basically, DHT is produced in the prostate, testes and the hair follicles as well by the enzyme 5α-reductase. 5α-reductase acts on testosterone to produce DHT and in men approximately 5% of testosterone gets converted to DHT. DHT now stands in the way of hair follicles and skin’s blood capillaries and reduces the absorption of important nutrients required for healthy hair follicles.

Genetics now comes into the picture in understanding male pattern baldness. The amount of DHT that is produced depends entirely on the genetic make up of that individual and this can also be hereditary in nature. More the DHT produced, more is the number of hair follicles that will get affected and greater will be the hair loss.

Understanding male pattern baldness

Understanding male pattern baldness

In male pattern baldness the hair loss starts from the temples and the vertex (as shown in image) and progress until only hair on the sides if the skull remains. The hair on the sides have a far less susceptibility to DHT and hence complete baldness very rarely occurs.

A lot of research has gone into understanding male pattern baldness and cure for the same is heavily dependent on this research. A miracle cure for baldness is one of the most awaited things in this century.

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